SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - SEPTEMBER 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 33 of 87

A GOOD SPORT A Look At The 2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport By Dan Sanchez PhotoS provided by Toyota USA At one time or another, SCORE enthusiasts and racers have owned a full-size pickup to handle the desert of Baja, or simply tow their toys for a weekend of fun. While many gravitate to their vehicle of choice, it’s important to remember that full-size trucks like the Toyota Tundra have a history of winning in Baja. Legendary racers such as Ivan Stewart continues to support Toyota’s efforts in Baja, and champion drivers like BJ Baldwin continue on with that tradition. Toyota’s Tundra for the rest of us is its TRD Pro model, that’s specifically designed for desert fun and everyday use. But the TRD Pro model is undergoing a new transformation and won’t be available for a while. In the meantime, the 2018 Tundra TRD Sport can offer some impressive capabilities for anyone looking for a new Toyota full-size truck to take on off-road trails, and tow their UTVs into the desert. Toyota updated the Tundra TRD Sport’s appearance with a new mesh grille and side trim. It provides the truck with a very clean and sleek body that makes it look more compact than it actually is, but it’s definitely a full-size truck inside and out. Helping to give the sleek look is body-colored side mirror housings and bumpers, and the Sport model utilizes the TRD hood with integrated scoop. New LED lighting also gives the truck a sporty appearance, especially with LED daytime running lights the make the front look a little menacing as it approaches from your rear view mirror. A Dual-Purpose Suspension While the Pro models are only offered in four-wheel drive, the 2018 Sport model offers the truck owner a choice of two or four-wheel drive. While the truck still utilizes a double wishbone front, and live axle rear suspension, the front is raised two-inches taller than standard model Tundras and is outfitted with 20-inch alloy wheels and tires for greater traction and a more aggressive appearance. Bilstein shocks are used on the Sport and feature a long-range reservoir. When combined with FRA front and rear anti-roll bars, the Tundra TRD Sport is designed to handle curves on the highway and help drivers keep control while towing their UTVs or buggy to their weekend destination. V8 Power With 6-Speeds Outfitted with Toyota’s iForce 5.7 liter V8, the Sport model has plenty of torque and horsepower to pull itself out of the sand or power down a hard-packed dirt road at high speed. The tow ratings remain unchanged from 2017 models but are still impressive, 10,300 pounds, and a combined gross sum of 16,000 pounds. The engine still sports 381 horsepower and 401 lbs.-ft. of torque, that sends power to the standard six-speed automatic transmission and an optional two-speed transfer case on 4x4 models. Four-wheel drive models also feature Toyota’s A-TRAC system that applies the brakes as needed to minimize wheel spin and forces torque to wheels that have traction. New Standard Safety Features The TRD Sport’s interior is unchanged for 2018, utilizing a TRD shift know and floor mats, and can be upgraded with Toyota’s Entune Premium system that integrates navigation into the dash. Sport models are available as both Double Cab and CrewMax Cab body configurations, but for 2018 they now come standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense-P package. The package features a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection, auto high-beam headlights, as well as dynamic radar cruise control. Additional optional features on the Toyota Tundra TRD Sport include Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota Entities infotainment system, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, and a multi-information display between the instrument gauges.

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